2 min read
31 Mar

Many friends have now returned home, so I thought I had a quiet week ahead - only two social commitments, lots of time for painting, reading, swimming, sunning.  

Suddenly things changed!  

Those two evenings were cancelled when Dr. Hugo called Tuesday, explaining that the two cardiologists with whom he had discussed my case after my EKG and blood tests the week before, decided that I would be better seen by Dr. Devila in Colima.  Dr. Devila wanted an angiotomography test done before seeing me and that test would be done in Colima. 

Dr. Hugo said he had made the test appointment for me and would be picking me up at 6:30 a.m. the next morning, Wednesday, to drive me to Colima for the test at 8:30 a.m. and drive me home after.  

Then, the following day, Thursday, he would again drive me to Colima - this time to see Dr. Devila who would have the results of the test by then.  Wow – incredible how quickly medical things are done in Mexico, 

But how much was all this going to cost?  Dollar bills were swirling around in my imagination.  This was going to be expensive, I thought. 

Asking Dr. Hugo how much it would cost me, he said only the cost of the test (approximately $1200 Canadian) and his gas! 

“What about your time?” I asked.  He simply smiled, to which I responded that I would at least be paying him for what I would pay him for a house call ($64 Canadian) as well as his gas – what a deal! 

Dr. Hugo on one of our trips to Colima, but I cut off his long pony tail in this pic.  Sorry, Doctor!

The test took three hours instead of one in an ultra modern new imaging clinic. After two painful unsuccessful tries, it was decided my tiny veins needed hydration before the dye for the test could successfully be injected intravenously. Third try worked after that was done. 

Dr. Hugo waited patiently for me in the waiting room.  Then, with the test completed, he took me for a late breakfast before driving me home, because I'd had to fast for so many hours and I was hungry.  So was he!

We talked the entire trip, discussing politics on the way up and philosophy, reincarnation, psychics, etc., on the way home.  Fascinating conversations that made the time fly. 

During our car conversations, Hugo learned I was an artist, specializing in portraits.  He asked what I would charge to paint his beloved dog’s portrait.  When I gave him the price, he said he would like me to paint her when I come back in November.  Voila! I had been trying to think of what else I could do to repay him for his kindness and generosity for two days of his time away from his practice.  Now I knew!  

When we arrived at my villa I asked Dr. Hugo if he’d like some berry crisp I had baked the night before.  He said he didn’t know what it was but was willing to try it.  I gave him some to take home.  Later that evening I got a text from him asking for the recipe. lol.

The following morning, after seeing the test results, Dr. Devila cancelled my appointment scheduled for that morning.   He said he didn’t need to see me because there were no signs of blockage of arteries nor did I need a pacemaker.  Terrific news! 

However, the trip back to Colima wasn't cancelled.  Something made Dr. Devila feel I should see a pneumologist and he had booked an appointment with Dra. Leyva in Colima for 3 p.m. that same day. 

Due to the crazy Easter traffic in Manzanillo, Dr. Hugo was late picking me up.  The highway was crowded with trucks pulling two heavy container loads each literally crawling up the many hills on the road.  Consequently, when we arrived at Dra. Leyva's office she was gone. She’d had to leave for Guadalajara even though Dr. Hugo had called ahead to alert her receptionist that we would be late. So, we just did a turn-around - a wasted trip except for the fascinating conversations we continued to have.  

As luck would have it, Dra. Leyva was going to be in Manzanillo at Hospital Echauri the following day, Good Friday, and an appointment was made to see her there at 6 p.m.

When Dr, Hugo dropped me off at my villa part of the remaining berry crisp went home with him, along with a hug. We were fast becoming friends. 

On our drive, I had asked Dr. Hugo about an ear, nose and throat specialist I needed to clean my ears. My ear canals also being tiny it took a specialist to do the job.  He immediately pulled out his cell phone and made an appointment for me at Hospital Echauri for the following morning at 11.   I now had two appointments at the hospital on Good Friday, one in the morning and one in the evening.          

The otolaryngologist did a great job.  When I put my hearing aids in afterwards, things were so loud, I thought I would have to learn how to turn them down a little.  The overwhelming noise of the traffic in the city was something I had not been aware of before. 

 I returned to Hospital Echauri in the evening for my appointment with Dr. Leyva.  She asked a number of questions such as was I a smoker, did I have trouble breathing, had I ever used an inhaler, etc.   She then checked my ankle, which was slightly swollen, checked my leg for pain - none!  She concluded I had no risk factors.  More good news! 

It had been a tiring but interesting week of tests and consultations and out of town trips.

 I was astonished at how quickly, efficiently, and competently healthcare can be administered in Mexico and at very low cost.   I shudder to imagine how long it would take in Canada to accomplish what had been done in Mexico in only a couple of days.  And any travel out of town for tests and appointments would be my responsibility to arrange and pay for.  

As I bid “Hasta luego” to Manzanillo in eleven days, I will leave knowing I am in good health and that I'm in caring healthcare hands when I am in Mexico.  Thank you, Dr. Hugo!  

Happy Easter everyone!

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